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The Chinese Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (‘CNDRP’) is an efficient procedure for resolving ‘.CN’ domain name disputes. Even though the CNDRP is based on the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (‘UDRP’) model, this Policy has special regulations.

To dispute a domain name under the CNDRP, the domain name at issue has to be no older than two years. Article 2 of the CNDRP specifically states that “the Dispute Resolution Service Providers do not accept the Complaint regarding domain names with registration term[s] of over TWO years”.

This time bar is specific to the Chinese Policy and is based on the General Civil Law Rules of People’s Republic of China. However, in 2017, the time bar for general civil claims was extended from two to three years. In line with this change, the China Internet Network Information Centre (‘CNNIC’) issued an amended CNDRP for consultation.

Among those changes, the amended CNDRP proposed to extend the time bar from two to three years. Following the end of the consultation period in early June 2019, the CNNIC has now implemented these changes. As of 18th June 2019, the time bar has been raised to three years.

Brand owners are now able to file ‘.CN’ complaints for domain names which are up to three years old. However, the amended Policy makes no mention as to whether this applies to all domain names, or is only reserved for domain names registered after the changes came into effect.

If this new time bar has a retrospective effect, brand owners may be able to file complaints previously barred under the two-year time bar.

Previously, brand owners could file a complaint for domain names older than two years, if the trademark owner could prove that a change of ownership occurred within two years prior to filing the dispute. Still, this new time bar gives brand owners more flexibility for filing ‘.CN’ domain names disputes.

Brand owners can now reopen previous cases involving ‘.CN’ domain names, and reassess whether they are still barred from filing a dispute with the relevant dispute provider.

Author – Caroline Valle


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